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'The best of both worlds' - How does modern day grappling methods stack up against the 'Old Skool' traditional systems? Is one better than the other or just different? What do they emphasis and how does their training differ? These are all interesting questions and worthwhile examining.......


Firstly it is worth realising that the modern grappling systems owe much to the ancient ones. Without the 'old skool' methods there would be no new school methods. We should pay great respect to the traditional methods but also not live in the past. Everything evolves otherwise we would as human beings still be swimming in the sea.

Or riding horses and carts instead of cars.

Or going into war with a blunderbuss or flintlock instead of the hi tech weaponry of today.

But the modern submission grappler needs to appreciate the facts that the rear naked strangle, straight arm bar and Achilles leg lock have been around many centuries, maybe even longer.

4000 year sculptures of wrestlers performing throws, trips and holds can be seen on the walls of tombs in Egypt. Also in 648 BC the Greeks were training in Pankration, a vicious and deadly early form of what could be described as MMA.

In feudal Japan from 1467-1573 the Samurai Warriors were using the skills of Jujutsu on the battlefields in life or death combat.

Late 1800 to early 1900 century saw the rise of 'catch as can' and freestyle wrestling, which used along with standard arm locks, leg locks and chokes, vicious neck cranks ,spinal twists, gouges and rips.


A lot of modern day submission wrestling owes its techniques to Brazilian jujutsu.BJJ as it is known descended from pre-World War 2 judo.

Which in turn was heavily influenced by classical jujutsu.The influence of BJJ in submission wrestling and indeed MMA can be seen by the positions and submissions they will use. The most common are the fantastic use of the 'guard' position and the favourite finishes of arm bars and triangle leg chokes.

Other systems have also left an impression. Free style and Greco Roman wrestling for their takedowns and throws Sambo has used its many leg locks to great effective. Japanese Shooto and Catch as Can wrestling have incorporated many of their punishing cranks, joint twists and stretches.

How Submission Wrestling Is Trained

Submission wrestling is usual trained by drilling techniques and then 'rolling 'with a partner and putting their training and knowledge into real practice. Nothing is based on theory it is pressure tested for real. When a submission is applied the opponent will 'tap out' to signal defeat.

In training you can get back up and resume or in a real match, bout or fight that will signal the end of the contest.

Some submission wrestling bouts will take on the BJJ rules of scoring points for position and control but the standard format is winning by tap out or verbal submission.

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